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New non-PTC starter relays - Frigidaire FFHT2117LW1


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:04 AM

Ran into something new last week and just getting around to telling/asking about it.

Frigidaire Refrigerator
Mod# FFHT2117LW1
Ser# 4A02106068
Mfg.Dt. May 2010


Only a little over a year and half old and starter relay is out.

Did the standard rattle test, NO RATTLE. (NOT a valid test anymore on these)

Ohm'ed out the starter relay from start to run terminals and got around 5-6 ohms which is what is usually seen in the standard PTC starter relays. (Again, NOT a valid test anymore).

Checked compressor and all ohm readings between all terminals and ground OK, so setup a regular Whirlpool style Overload and push on PTC-relay and the compressor started right up and ran great which proved a bad start relay.

I opened the starter relay and here is what I found - (all electronic starter relay not PTC relay, is this going to be the new trend anyone else see many/any failures on these yet?).

This is the first of this style I've ran into, Starter relay Part Part number: 241941003

Part number: 241941003

Here are my photos of the insides of this new technology:

Attached Files


William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

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#2 KurtiusInterupptus

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:34 AM

Willie, I have been seeing these in WP boxes for about two years. I was really worried about them at first, as i found several failed early on...but it failures were obviously a fluke as i have not seen a rash of these going out since the first few...

I didnt know that ELX was using these electronic jobs now too...Yea!
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#3 SANTA

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

Would there be any issues with using a standard relay/overload?

#4 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

Excellent post, Willie, and great pics-- crisp and good illumination. Thank you for posting this!

Willie, I have been seeing these in WP boxes for about two years.


Kurt, do you know of any tech bulletins or service pointers that WP has put out on this?

Has anyone been to a WP training lately where they've talked about this?

I'm gonna do some digging around and see what I can find out on these.

#5 KurtiusInterupptus

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

I have been to wp training recently and no, they never mentioned it nor am I aware of any service bulletins about them...

Edited by KurtiusInterupptus, 19 March 2012 - 02:45 PM.

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#6 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:52 AM

Would there be any issues with using a standard relay/overload?


No problem using a standard PTC relay, that is what I used to get them by until I get the correct one.

Had one out of a Whirlpool kit that had the correct plug and the overload number was pretty close to the original. Sometime if I don't have something with the overload close enough to the original I will pull the overload out of the bad start pak and use it in the temporary one while I wait for the correct one to arrive.
William Burk (Willie)
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Eureka, CA 95501

#7 BryanS

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:34 PM

I have changed maybe 3 of those in the last year. We actually carry those are our vans, so I just replace with the original. I was surprised the first time I had one that didn't rattle, but I just tried to replace it anyway and it worked. I don't of any bulletins for them either. I never even tried to open one. I definitely didn't know it had a ciruit board inside.

Edited by BryanS, 20 March 2012 - 08:37 PM.


#8 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

So, did some digging on this. These things are called "time-sensing devices" (TSDs) and their purpose is to prevent the compressor from trying to short-cycle and help prolong its life. Here's the patent on them ==> http://www.freepaten.../EP0095525.html

They seem to fail with appalling regularity and are keenly sensitive to voltage spikes such as from lightning storms. All the more reason to use surge suppressors with appliance equipped with electronics.

The use of TSDs may be purely economic and may have to do with the shortage of rare-earth elements like Germanium. Many servicers routinely replace TSDs with the other types of more rugged relays with no ill-effects on the compressor whatsoever.

I've attached an excel spreadsheet that lists about 200 Whirlpool models that are equipped with these TSD's.

Attached Files



#9 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:12 AM

A question for you Samurai, did you read the patent, (I didn't)? How would these devices in any way keep the compressor from short cycling anymore then a ptc relay can keep it from short cycling?

The run leg goes directly from the line to the compressor run terminal just like a ptc relay so same as in a ptc relay if the compressor is short cycled it will try to start and kick out on the overload and if you're away when it's happening, the constant trying to start and kicking out on the overload will heat up the windings and compressor, the same as a ptc relay will.
William Burk (Willie)
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Eureka, CA 95501

#10 kdog

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:38 PM

And you'll be forced to go purchase a new fridge, so mission accomplished by Mfr
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#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

here's some better info ...
NOTE: looks like LINE goes thru the OLP to the COMMON Terminal (page 2)
but the OLP (and the TSD) are electronic circuits
http://www.embraco.c...s_pdf/02035.pdf
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#12 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:55 AM

I took the time to read the patent, it wasn't a huge 100 page document like most, just 1 or 2 pages!!!

RegUs the diagram on page two of the Embraco tech document is exactly how it is setup.

I was thinking about this last night and I believe what it does when working correctly It takes the start windings out of the circuit for a predetermined length of time, (depending on the PTC heat that opens the miniature protector - which must be the blue thing on the board, it's the only thing big enough to have a PTC heater in it).

Quote from the patent:

3. Due to the heat of the PTC this miniature protector remains open for 4-5 minutes thus allowing the compressor motor to restart under the best of refrigeration conditions.


So instead of constantly trying to energizing both the start and run windings, (like with a PTC starter), and overheating the start windings only the run windings get energized in a locked rotor/short cycle condition. The overload trips and de-energizes run windings which are sturdier wiring that can handle the abuse unlike the more delicate start windings.
William Burk (Willie)
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Eureka, CA 95501

#13 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:49 AM

looks like the OLP / Over Load Protector opens the Common Terminal
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#14 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:23 AM

looks like the OLP / Over Load Protector opens the Common Terminal


It does, and that is no different that you would have with a PTC starter relay.

With a PTC starter relay and short cycle the compressor, both start and run windings are energized, compressor is locked and kicks out on overload. Overload cools down enough, (usually a minute or so), and it cycles the run and start windings on again and repeats this process until it finally starts or something burns out.

My understanding of this new TSD starter relay is that it will try to start and if not started in the predetermined amount of time the start windings will be de-energized, (by the PTC heater in the miniature protector on the circuit board), and then overload will trip. Overload resets but start windings are locked out for 4 or 5 minutes so it only energizes the run windings, (thus not overheating the more delicate start windings), then trips the overload again and repeats this process but only energizing the run windings until the PTC heater in the miniature protector cools down enough to let the start windings back into the circuit.

This is only my understanding of what is going on from reading the patent and the Embraco tech document.

The only thing is I don't see anything that looks like it could be this so called miniature protector with a PTC heater in it, trying to look up the blue thing that I thought might be the protector appears it is some sort of capacitor.
info on blue component -
150nK 400V
468MKT (ME)
PILKOR

The only other two big components on the board are:
a 22nF 50V capacitor and
a BTA212 600D triac (I bent it up to read the markings and there's a dead ant that looks to maybe have shorted across two the triac terminals)

On the other side of the board are a bunch of miniature surface mount diodes, resistors and capacitors.
William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

#15 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

can you trace the lead from the Common Terminal and see what it connect to ?
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#16 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:41 AM

There nothing to trace as far as the common terminal goes.

Plug connector with 2 wires, Line & Neutral plug into the TSD starter. The overload protector is built into the starter pak and plugs onto the common compressor terminal which goes directly thru the case to where the 2 wire power connector plugs into the starter pak.

See the first attached picture in my first post with all the electronics pulled out, the overload is still in the plastic case and the terminal to the overload protector is at top of the picture.

I believe from the way you are wording the question you are assuming from the Embraco tech sheet that the overload protector is part of the electronics in the TSD, it isn't. The overload protector is the exact same setup as you would find in a standard PTC starter relay.

Edited by Budget Appliance Repair, 27 March 2012 - 05:45 AM.

William Burk (Willie)
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Eureka, CA 95501

#17 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:48 AM

A final follow up on the new TSD starter pak:

Got the new part in today and just for kicks checked the ohms between the start and run terminals on the new starter, (reading open, original bad one had readings of around 5-6 ohms like you would see on a PTC starter), which lead me to believe most likely a shorted triac on the circuit board keeping the start windings constantly energized thus kicking out on the overload.

I didn't check the start-up amps on the original bad starter so when I went back to install the new one I reinstalled the old one first and checked the start-up amps, (11 amps and kicked out on the overload within about 4 to 5 seconds). My conclusion thus seems to be correct, the start windings staying energized and not dropping out, (most likely because of a shorted triac).

I believe some of the confusion may have came from looking for that so called miniature protector that was mentioned in the patent that Samurai linked to, (I think that patent maybe from a similar TSD starter device but not the one we are actually dealing with). Patent# EP0095525 is what Samurai linked to but the patents that the Embraco tech sheet reference are completely different -

PATENTS
– PI 0003448-7 / WO 0209264
– PI 0103585-1
– PI 0103370-0


On the Embraco tech sheet it also says -

The electronic circuit was designed taking the mandatory
use of the running capacitor into consideration.
The 115V version is rectangular box, assembling directly
onto the TSD body


I didn't try to see if it would start and operate without the run capacitor like a PTC starter will, (didn't want to take any chances of blowing the new TSD starter). I wonder if maybe the triac gate gets triggered by the circuit coming thru the run capacitor and without the capacitor in the circuit maybe it won't start correctly either?

Edited by Budget Appliance Repair, 30 March 2012 - 06:02 AM.

William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

#18 asteysn2

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

This is a post that I'll be following. I saw one of these TSD's only yesterday. When shaking it I heard a rattle and presumed it to be a bad PTC. Since I didnt have the exact replacement part I pulled out a standard PTC that would accept the plug, and after having checked the compressor windings and assuring myself that the polarities on the plug were the same I tried it. Was surprised to get LRA. I then tried to run comp with my start box (even though the Cap was out of system). Usually the comp WILL start w/o the cap but will draw more current. Good enough for a brief test. Still got LRA, so told customer that the compressor bearings were most likely siezed up. Took the start device with me (customer went out shopping for a new box so...) Got back to shop and opened it up. Yeah, electronics. WTF...?
Was glad to read that a standard PTC does no damage to the compressor. Dont really see how it could. In this case I think the bad compressor bearing were the root cause. Im not sure if the TSD is actually bad to Im going to test it on a compressor I have in the shop. Stay tuned friends...
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#19 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:49 AM

They do make a slight rattle, (I believe the board rattles around a little loose inside the case), but not the broken/crumbled PTC rattle.
William Burk (Willie)
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Eureka, CA 95501




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